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Barclays thinks it needs some new European macro traders

When Barclays announced its results last week, they were not great. Fixed income sales and trading revenues at the British bank were down 21% year-on-year, compared to an increase of 7% at Deutsche Bank and 10% at Goldman Sachs. 

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Barclays said its declining fixed income revenues were the result of "lower client activity in macro" in particular. It intends to do something about this. Speaking to investors during the call accompanying Barclays' Q1 results, Barclays' CEO C.S.  Venkatakrishnan said the bank "can do better." The poor performance in macro was partly down to "people" and partly down to "intensifying of the client penetration," he added. Barclays is "supplementing the skills that we have on the trading desk," said Venkat. It will be investing in people in the months to come.

The very, very strong implication is that Barclays intends to hire some new macro traders in London. It already added Ben Hutson in March. Liam Webster, a former Morgan Stanley VP emerging markets rates trader has just arrived in April. Open roles at the bank in London include positions for macro quant analysts and for macro salespeople. 

Barclays isn't alone in feeling the urge to supplement its macro trading team. As we have noted on several occasions, Nomura is all over Deutsche Bank's rates traders, and Deutsche may therefore also be inclined to find itself some new people soon. Macro trading was weak at Deutsche Bank, too. This was partly because volatility across the market has fallen as rates remain higher for longer, but partly - possibly - because Deutsche's rates desk is so depleted. 

The implicit criticism of Barclays' current macro traders may nonetheless cause some angst there. Macro traders at the bank already told us they fear their jobs will be cut in the round of layoffs expected in early May. Many will now fear being replaced in a round of upgrading. 

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Photo by Mike Petrucci on Unsplash

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AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor

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